BJP set to corner Siddaramaiah in Arkavathi denotification case

Party to meet Governor soon seeking permission for prosecuting the chief minister

BJP set to corner Siddaramaiah in Arkavathi denotification case
Armed with certain records, a confident BJP is all set to meet Governor Vajubai Vala soon to seek permission to prosecute Siddaramaiah in the Arkavathi denotification case.

The party took months to collect records from the government to prove its point that 820 acres of land in the Arkavathi Layout had been denotified in defiance of the Supreme Court directions.

M Vinod Kumar, the State BJP legal cell convener and advocate, said Siddaramaiah had denotified a vast tract of land just three or four days before the Lok Sabha elections last year. “The word used by the government on record to denotify the 820 acres is ‘redoing’. It is nothing but denotification. Public land can be denotified only for six specific purposes.

But in the Arkavathi layout case, the denotification was done over four to five days with an ulterior motive. This would be questioned before the Lokayukta court. We will be soon seeking the governor’s permission to prosecute the chief minister,” he said.

Kumar said such a large area of public land had never been denotified at one go by any of the previous governments in the State. Two petitions have already been filed before the H S Kempanna Commission of Inquiry constituted to probe the denotification.

Both petitioners are said to be office-bearers of the BJP. However, the party is not acknowledging they are BJP men. Friday is the last day for the commission to receive petitions.

Asked whether even top officials of the BDA would be made party to the denotification, Kumar said, “The chief minister had recommended and given the final clearance for the denotification, against the rules. The officers are hand in glove with him. The BDA officials had earlier recommended that only 162 acres could be denotified in the layout. How then did it go up to 820 acres,” he asked.

Party sources said that after the land issue, it would release documents pertaining to illegal sand mining and the involvement of the members of the chief minister’s family and some of his Cabinet colleagues, in the scam.

Congress cautious

Congress State president G Parameshwara reacted cautiously to the denotification charges against Siddaramaiah.

When contacted by this newspaper on Thursday, Parameshwara said he had not gone through the records pertaining to the case and hence, he was not in a position to come to any conclusion.

“It should be seen whether ‘redo’ and ‘denotification’ are one and the same. Interpretation by law matters and not allegations. The Kempanna Commission will study the issue and give its conclusions, too.”

Asked whether the party’s image had been dented because of the denotification and illegal sand mining issues, Parameshwara said the question arose only when the charges were proved.

“There should be conclusive evidence before arriving at a conclusion. The issues have not reached such a stage,” he said.

To a question whether, like the Congress handled the B S Yeddyurappa case, the BJP too would cause a major embarrassment to the Congress, Parameshwara said, “The BJP men have already approached the inquiry commission. It is trying to meet the governor. It has the option of going to various courts. But finally, it is law that prevails. So far, the party government has been able to deliver what it has promised to the people,” he said.

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